Carach Angren - _Carach Angren_
(Maddening Media, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
Carach Angren are the Dutch answer to the full-bodied symphonic and melodic black metal strain pioneered by the diffuse triumvirate of Anorexia Nervosa, Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, the latter exerting a particularly strong influence. They differentiate themselves from this trio through a stronger baroque feel that complements their penchant for the gothic and the melodramatic, brought to the fore by a full and powerful recording sound, but without losing aggression. The only significant misstep is "Hexed Melting Flesh", which is little more than an inane narrated intermezzo. I suppose its presence is intended to aid the creation of a certain atmosphere, but atmosphere is not lacking in any of the preceding numbers. Another intermezzo, "Invisible Physic Entity" is just as unnecessary as an atmosphere generator but justifies its existence by being a thoroughly enjoyable burst of neoclassical splendour. (They do have a penchant for three word titles -- does this remind the reader of anyone?) A proper symphony orchestra would have been the ideal, but not everyone has access to Dimmu Borgir level budget and they did not skimp on the keyboards, sounding far removed from budget Casios. It's not the most original entrant, but they are sufficiently creative to justify their existence, and one of the newer entrants to the symphonic field gets the nod of approval.


(article published 25/3/2009)

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